How do you feel when you enter a new season of life? Anxious? Excited? Impatient? Eager?
When the Lord calls us to enter a new season of serving Him, He assures us that He is with us. However, it is easy to doubt this or forget that He will be with us through it all providing we continue to pray and depend on Him. Gideon had many of the same reactions that we have when we are challenged to do something that seems far beyond our capability. “’But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’”
Along with Gideon’s lack of training and experience, he also was having a crisis of faith. Look at what he says when God calls him “mighty warrior.”
“If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:14).
Can you relate to Gideon? I certainly can. When we are experiencing a personal crisis, we often wrestle in our own faith. During our morning devotions, we read all that God did for His people, along with all His promises to us, and we wonder, “Why then am I going through this difficult time?” I have prayed, but God is not answering. So many around me who do not even worship Jesus are not struggling.” If you are feeling this way, I understand. It is difficult. We wrestle with doubts and question “Where is God and why has He allowed this to happen?”
It is interesting that when God called Gideon, He gave him a new name - Mighty Warrior. Gideon immediately threw back at God the plight of his circumstances. Perhaps this was pent up anger and frustration. God was saying that He was personally with Gideon, yet Gideon could not hear this. His repressed frustration of his suffering was blocking his faith.
As I have been a complainer to God at times, it comforts me to see how God responded. The Lord is so kind to not take it personally when we wrongly accuse Him of being a poor parent to us. I am so grateful that the Lord is undaunted by my temper tantrums. The Lord continues to trust that He can empower me to be of service in His Kingdom work, despite my weakness and lack of faith. Just as the Lord’s words focus on Gideon’s potential to be used for God’s good, He also looks at our potential when we walk in His strength and the giftings with which He has endowed us.
“The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you? (Judges 6:14).
When Gideon questioned how God could use such a weak person to save Israel, the Lord responded, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together” (Judges 6:16). When Gideon realized that he truly was hearing this calling from God, he built an altar and called it, “The Lord is Peace.” An assurance that God is with us can bring tremendous peace to our souls!
“With” can be a life-changing preposition! When we realize that Almighty God is with us, we can have the courage to go through any challenge. We too will be filled with God’s peace. When Jesus told the disciples that He would be leaving them, they experienced great distress. However, He assured them that they would do even greater things because God’s Spirit would come upon them and give them power (see Acts 1:8). God did not call Gideon to lead the people because he was a five-star general. He called him Mighty Warrior because He knew that He would be with him every step of the way.
The Lord is with you. He will give you all you need to accomplish His will. In fact, it is more dangerous to step out of God’s will and do your own thing in your own strength, than to follow the Lord into battle relying on His power. As we trust in God, we too become His mighty warrior. Don’t shrink back my friend but press on WITH HIM.
Today's Bible Reading: Judges 6